Listening to your favourite music can be a personal experience aided by the appropriate equipment.
Brainwavz (no that is not one of my typing mistakes but the way that the company spells its name) is a Hong Kong based multinational company. As fans of the company will attest, Brainwavz has built up an impressive reputation for the development and manufacture of high-end earphones designed to deliver a high quality audio output at affordable price points.
When walking through Waterloo station I noticed lots of adverts for a new razor that I have heard nothing about, there was even a pop up barbers salon where willing victims were receiving a shave, so I contacted their PR company and I received a razor and a canister of their new shaving foam so that I could try it myself and then tell you all about it.
My regular wet shave is the five blades Fusion offering from Gillette. This offering has two blades. Whereas the Fusion has a head of five closely spaced blades this head takes as much space over two blades, before and after contact with each blade your face is lubricated. The whole unit is 14cm long, 4cm wide at the head which is 1.7cm and my own Fusion head is only 1.5cm.
Announcements regarding new products can often result in follow-up news concerning additional offerings from third parties.
Chain reactions are phenomena that can be the result of many different actions or just a single instance. In this case the chain reaction, to which I refer, was brought about by an announcement from Samsung regarding the expected arrival of a new release. As one of the leading developers and manufacturer of high-end (an often used euphemism for expensive) mobile devices, Samsung announced the forthcoming Galaxy S series family of handsets, namely the S10, S10+ and S10e models.
This is a compact panel that will turn your PC into a touch PC. Windows 10 was always marketed with the strap line of ‘made for touch’ and while a good number of notebooks have touch built in a far smaller number of Desktop offerings have that ability supplied as standard.
It is 54x31.5x2cm and has three sides of a rectangle metal stand that is 35cm wide at the base and the arms are 20cm long and fit into the rear of the panel so within reason you can decide the amount of back tilt for the panel. The external connections are all in one line that resides on an overhang around 7cm up from the base. 3.5mm in and 3.5mm out, HDMI, DisplayPort and HDMI as well as DC input. To make this a touch panel needs USB and there is an upstream port as well as two USB3 ports.
Classified as a Hidden Object Mystery game, Dead Link – Pages Torn, has been developed by Phime. The game opens with a disturbing scene as a young woman is captured when taking a late night run through the countryside. Fortunately this video sequence can be skipped in order to move on to the main title screen.
Before embarking on Dead Link – Pages Torn you can create profiles for different players and adjust some of the gaming environment settings. Adjustments can be made to the volume levels for music, sound, ambience and voice delivery for the game’s dialogue. You can opt to play in full screen mode with a custom cursor that changes shape when different actions are possible. The game has four levels of difficulty that range between Easy and Expert plus a Custom level.
Having recently told you about another SmartPhone from this company, here – their latest – has landed on my desk. Anything designed by Phillipe Starck is always eye catching; an early DAB radio was his work and still sits on my bedside table in daily use.
It is 15.5x7.5x.7cm and weighs 219grams. The viewable screen is 14.7x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 6.39inches. When you switch on you immediately notice the lack of a notch at the top of the screen as the front facing camera is behind the screen. Going around the outside has the volume rocker and on/off button on the right side. The base has USB ‘C’ connection. The left side has a dedicated Google button and insertion point for your Nano SIMs.
Continuing my look at various handsets, it is the turn of a Huawei offering.
Opening the latest smartphone offering from Vodafone was a little confusing. I was expecting the product to be a Huawei P smart 2019 handset which Huawei was targeted at users who were looking for a reasonably price handset, with a price tag of sub-£200, but the box containing the handset was embellished with the letters “VX” along with the Huawei logo and the year 2019.
While a proportion of the latest SmartPhones have USB ‘C’ connections there are still a good number of new phones arriving with Micro USB connectors so this latest device to cross my desk from SanDisk still has a place for lots of people.
It is a 16GB USB memory stick and at the other end the same memory shared for a Micro USB port found on SmartPhones. It fits easily on any key ring so data can come with you. It is only 3cm long and 1.5cm wide and .7.5cm thick with a weight of less than 6 grams. The middle has a metal clip that is 3mm wider than the casing which allows it to be added to a keyring.
The arrival of 5G technology is underway as testing begins in earnest and Manchester by Vodafone.
A 34inch curved panel is large and probably larger than most TV’s of a couple of years ago. However the 3440x1440 display makes it a joy to look at. It supports two screens in side by side display using PeP or the second screen top right with PiP.
It is 81x37cm, its ‘V’ shaped stand is 50x30cm and the minimum raise from the desk is 10cm with the maximum being 26cm. The amount of curve means that the centre is 4cm behind the outsides. Looking at it in full screen mode is actually 21:9 ratio which seems to match a lot of recent cinema creations. So even normal 4K on a single screen has borders either side. I connected both my own PC and the recently reviewed Acer 5000 Predator and used PeP to give crystal clear output from both.
With a school time half term coming up, this might offer advice where to pass the time.
If you happen to be in London, especially in the vicinity of the thoroughfare known as Regent Street, during the Spring half term period, then a visit to Hamleys’ flagship store could well be of interest and worth the effort. A recent communication has informed me, that during the period from 16 February to the 3 March, Hamleys will be offering seven floors of live entertainment, fun workshops, new toys and exclusive prizes to attack the attention of all and sundry.
It is not often that I review the same phone twice; however a lot has changed in this offering since my initial review last May. So it’s probably best to call this a new phone that just happens to have the same name as an earlier version.
It is 15.5x7.5x.8cm and weighs 159grams. The viewable screen has the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 6.21 inches. The screen display is 2340x1080 which is better than a standard PC screen. The screen is 19.5:9 and the phone is available in Black or two shades of Blue called Sapphire and Aurora, mine was the last mentioned. It comes with the latest version of Android which is 9 and has an overlay EMUI which is also version 9.
Computers are meant to help us but often they help others to help themselves.
While it is not the first toothbrush that uses the airwaves to store brushing results that has resided in my bathroom it is the first such device intended for adults. It comes from a company whose main lines are in the connected home.
Setup should be just turning Bluetooth in your phone on after installing the App from either the iOS or Android store. Once you have created an account it scans for devices and once ‘bound’ your cleaning regime should be just a matter of checking that you are brushing correctly and while the length of time you brush is important the firmness - or lack of – is also stored. There are three modes (speeds) of brush action.
As technology spreads from the Office to the Home, what can we expect?
Tea used to be a very expensive substance, and a couple of centuries ago was always kept under lock and key and mixed at the table by the lady of the house, normally a mixture of green and black teas. Then half way through the last century the tea bag was invented. Even today there are still a minority who prefer leaf tea and here a device that allows leaf tea mixed in the cup with the convenience of a tea bag.
Imagine a take away coffee cup with lid and then shrink it down. The lid is rubber helping it to float and the sides and base are metal with thousands of tiny holes – like pine holes – and you have the Magisso Lippa floating tea infuser. It is 6cm tall, circular 3cm across at the base and 4.5cm across at the top. Unlike a tea bag this will stay upright with the silicon rubber top remaining on the top.
This A4 colour desktop LED printer is a versatile workhorse that will meet the needs of the small office or, for example, the busy student who needs to print out essays or lab reports.
Light grey in colour with a black top the printer is 439 mm wide x 461 deep and 252 mm high. It then needs about a further 5cm to the rear for access to the USB, Ethernet and power connections. In view of the fact that, being a colour printer, it has to incorporate colour toner cartridges in addition to the normal black one this is not an unreasonable size and, as it weighs 18.3kg, it has a robust feel about it.
This is an Android phone produced by Google. It is not a cheap phone as the Google Pixel brand only seems to do quality offerings and it is also no surprise to me that is was one of the first to get Android 9 as its operating system.
The Pixel 3 XL from Google measures 15.6x7.6x.7cm and weighs 137grams, although it is shiny black apart from the majority of the back – a light grey – it seems to repel finger marks quite well. I note that a while colour is also available. The left side has the on/off button and then the volume rocker. The base has USB ‘C’ connection for charging and connection of an OTG device or the headphones via the USB ‘C’.
First a big thank you to Cello for extending the loan of their recently reviewed TV that has enabled both this and the other 4K box recently reviewed so as to get the best from anything with ‘4K’ in the name is something that will display ‘4K’.
When the Fire TV stick first appeared it was quite naturally for HD TV’s now as the number of 4K enabled TV’s have ‘increased by 40%’ in the last year Fire have joined the party and hence a Fire TV stick that works in 4K. The stick is 10x3x1.5cm and because this is ‘oversize’ you will almost certainly need to connect the small 12cm long extender unit to get you clear of other HDMI connections at the back of your TV or panel.
The Manhattan SX Freesat HD set top box is a very convenient way for those who have a suitable satellite dish to access the wide range of Freesat TV channels.
As the Freesat transmissions come from a satellite located in the same orbital position as those from Sky, a redundant Sky dish (as long as it is working correctly, has not been used for Sky Q, and is still correctly in situ) will provide access to all the Freesat channels so as to provide, as it says on the SX box, “Subscription Free Satellite TV”. (Sky Q uses a different LNB (low noise block) which is the small receiving unit mounted on the arm attached to a satellite dish.
The first thing that encouraged me to test out this security device is that it only costs £19.99 yes the decimal point is in the correct place. So while it is on sale from a company that make their money from Insurance but at that price for a retail purchase it must be a no brainer. If you then go on to get discounted home insurance that’s another win.
This is not a cheap no frills offering in fact it offers more than other cameras recently reviewed which cost a great deal more. Now available for all without their insurance for a little more. This camera offers Full HD 1080p images and video, a lot of others only offer 720p. In my tests the infra-red night vision was excellent and in good daylight it automatically gives colour however at this time of year there is not much of that, room lighting also gives a good colour image.
If it is hidden then find it and you might end up at Atlantis.
Developed by Domini Games, Mysteries of Ancient Inventors Atlantis is a Hidden Object game with a fair sprinkling of mini-game puzzles to help break up the steady diet of Hidden Object action. In this game you are cast in the role of a young woman archaeologist who, with the aid of her grandfather, sets out to discover the lost city of Atlantis and the mysteries this hot bed of inventors produced.
If you know what Amazon Alexa can do then this Hub from Google goes one stage further. It is a 7inch Landscape touch Tablet with the extended back being the speaker to give excellent sound and it sits like a triangular object.
A small amount of documentation that came with the unit led to link my Nest camera to the unit at first I could find no way to get it to give the cameras live view but the moment I said ‘Hey Google show Nest Camera’ I got the live feed shown by my camera, I realised that this device does really learn and as it currently understands 444 Apps….
While this bar does not serve alcohol, it does deliver an audio experience.
Think Edifier, think speaker systems and it is but a small step to switch focus on to the company’s S50DB Active Speaker System or to give the product’s its common name of Soundbar. Measuring 114 cm in length with a depth of 14cm, this soundbar can be positioned on the floor or wall-mounted to deliver its audio output to its audience. Accompanying the soundbar in this package, you are meant to find a fibre optic cable, 3.5 mm jack to dual RCA audio cable, dual RCA to 3.
This is one of the Predator gaming range, most of which are big heavy powerful notebooks, this is slightly different in that it is a big heavy Tower system, it has a rather unusual configuration of external connections in the supplied unit.
It is 56cm tall, 52cm deep and 22cm wide. The front has a couple of blue LED lines as well as the on/off button and an optical (DVD) drive. The front of the top of the unit has a pair of USB3.1 ports, another USB3.1 and a USB ‘C’. The rear has a pair of USB2 ports, a line of four USB3.1 ports, a pair of USB2 ports and an Ethernet port. Six audio ports next taking two of the eight expansion bays two Display Port sockets, one HDMI socket and a further Display Port.
Adding to the list of available smartphones, Xiaomi offers its Mi family of devices.
Recently waves have been made in the UK marketplace by the company known as Xiaomi with launch events and shop-opening sessions.. Founded in April 2010 and listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July 2018, Xiaomi has built up a reputation of being friends with its users as it developed a range of smartphones and other smart devices connected via an IoT platform. Included in the company’s range of smartphones is the enhanced Mi family of devices.
A product I have used since its very early days when it was ‘shareware’ it was purchased a good while ago by Corel who do what they do to improve and enhance its features, then they add lots of extras so this basic product is now anything but basic.
Like most products this has a lot of extra features so while the 442MB of download is not large this then swells and while the initial install took around 16minutes you may still find that some features need extra time. These days most packages have lots of tutorials and I suggest you give yourself time to watch them just to see exactly what some of the effects can do.
The Brother MFC-J6945DW is one of Brother’s Business Smart X-Series and is a versatile 4-in-one A3 colour inkjet machine targeted at the varied needs of today’s small offices.
As must be appreciated, as this a full A3 machine, it is both weighty (at 24kg) and occupies a fair amount of office space. It is 58cm wide by roughly 70cm deep when one takes into account the bypass hopper at the rear and the amount that the A3 paper tray projects at the front. Although the machine is only about 38cm high, in use it needs additional headroom. In fact, the total height increases to 67cm with the ADF (automatic document feed) raised to expose the platen.
Next in line to deliver my favourite music is the Edifier S1000DB product.
Multimedia speakers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights. In the case of the S1000DB product from Edifier, it was the weight of the two units that caught my attention and was a defining factor. I should have guessed from the early sight of the courier struggling with the multimedia speaker product perched on his trolley as he approached along the path to my front door.
Another useful gadget from those clever people In Hong Kong, this time a padlock that can truly only be opened by you because it has no key and can only be opened by your finger so be it a box, a door or anything else the contents inside are yours alone.
Things like SmartPhones or Notebooks have had the security from Finger scans for a while now you can protect bigger things from your kids or others and you cannot lose the key as it is controlled by your finger. The hasp is .5cm so quite substantial, the lock itself is 4.6x4.6x1.5cm and the total weight is 126grams. Setting up the padlock is fully described in the instructions. You become the Administrator.